Rio Tinto has acquired a majority stake in Ivanhoe Mines for a total consideration of C$302m (US$298.7m).

The company now holds a 51% stake, after it purchased an additional 15.1 million common shares in Ivanhoe Mines at a price of C$20.00 (US$19.70) per share.

Rio Tinto, which earlier held a 49% stake in the company, will own 377,397,658 common shares of Ivanhoe upon completion of the share purchase.

Rio Tinto chief executive Copper Andrew Harding said the company’s move to a majority stake in Ivanhoe further exhibits its commitment to the safe and successful development of the Oyu Tolgoi mine for the benefit of all stakeholders. "We are approaching a very important phase in the development of the Oyu Tolgoi mine, with 70% of construction now complete," said Harding. "The lead-up to first ore in the second half of 2012 will mark an important milestone in the path towards commercial production of copper concentrate, slated for the first half of 2013."

Rio Tinto owns anti-dilution rights that permit it to acquire additional Ivanhoe securities in order to maintain its proportional equity interest in Ivanhoe. It also has the right to acquire additional Ivanhoe securities under its equity financing right of first offer. Rio Tinto has no current intention to purchase additional securities of Ivanhoe.

Ivanhoe also owns a 59% interest in exploration firm Ivanhoe Australia and a 58% interest in Mongolian coal miner SouthGobi Resources.

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